31 January 2014
Lieutenant General Mbombo was cross-examined by Advocate Geoff Budlender.
Adv. Budlender asked the Lt General about her experience before she became the Provincial Commissioner. The witness agreed that her experience is mostly in administration and financial management. She also agreed that she had worked for a year doing crime prevention activities in Mthatha. General Mbombo said when she was working in Transkei there was no specialization and that when she was in Finance section she was part of the operations that were planned.
The witness said she has never commanded any Public Order Policing (POP) operation, nor has she ever been an operational commander in any POP operation. She further said she has never worked as an overall commander.
General Mbombo said when Col Vermaak told her about the threats against Major General Mpembe; she told him that ‘they all should go back to the JOC.’ She said she cannot accept or reject the ‘purported threats against Major General Mpembe.’ Ms Mbombo said she has doubts about the threats because General Mpembe did not mention anything about them. “When General Mpembe called me he did not tell me on the phone about these threats and he only mentioned them at the JOC,” she continued.
On 16/08/2012 during the media briefing, Lt General Mbombo agreed that she knew that teargas and stun grenades were used by SAPS members before the attack by the strikers on 13/08/2012. Advocate Budlender then asked why this information was not included in the media release. “I do not know if the SAPS members usage of teargas and stun grenades triggered the attack on that day. But I believe it because General Mpembe told me,” said the witness. When asked why she did not communicate this information to the media, Ms Mbombo said she believed it as a report from Major General Mpembe but she did not fully believe in it because she was not there.
The Lieutenant General said she does not have a reason not to believe what General Mpembe said about the events of 13/08/2012. “No matter how much I believed it, I did not have the facts because I was not there and I was not confident enough to tell that to the media,” said General Mbombo.
Adv. Budlender asked the General if she knew of any police officer who encouraged Lonmin to negotiate outside the bargaining structure. “Major General Mpembe tried to get Lonmin to negotiate with the strikers. I am sure that an appeal was made to them to talk to their workers. Mpembe was able to talk to Lonmin to try by all means to talk to their workers to solve this matter,” she replied.
30 January 2014
North West Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Mbombo was led by Advocate Semenya SC on her evidence in chief.
The witness said she was briefed that a body had been found on 14/08/2012 next to the koppie. Gen Mbombo said she gave instructions that there should be negotiations to ensure a smooth attendance of the crime scene.
According to General Mbombo, when she said she did not want 20 people dead she meant since Lonmin had asked SAPS to make arrests for those who had been killed by the strikers, she was telling them that arrests will not help at that stage. “Because if we started effecting arrests, there might have been more deaths and that is what I meant when I said I did not want twenty people dead,” she added.
“When I said we should kill this thing I meant that we should hold it there, work it through while it is still a workers problem.”
On 14/08/2012 after being told of the views of the police commanders, Gen Mbombo said she told the commanders that if their plan allows them to disarm the strikers then they should go ahead and try it.
“After the meeting on 15/08/2012 I called General Mpembe and he told me that they had received a response from Mr. Joseph Mathunjwa saying that he was promising the police that by 09:00am the strikers would lay down their arms and disperse peacefully. We then decided to inform the community that as the SAPS, we protect lives, property and maintain peace and order,” said the Lieutenant General.
When asked if she believed that the operation did not go wrong at all, the witness said it is not her total belief. “I am not saying the operation was totally right. There were certain places where we erred. We did not know that we were going to have a communication problem and we also had a problem with the footage. People who were involved in planning had a few communication problems but they got help to correct this,” she said.
29 January 2014
Advocate Semenya SC, commenced re-examining Brigadier Calitz.
The Brigadier was asked whether the information that the strikers did not like the barbed wire was sufficient enough for the SAPS to abandon the use of the wire. In his reply, brigadier Calitz said the barbed wire was central, material and important because it was instrumental in dividing the police, the strikers and the media. The plan was not executable without the use of the barbed wire and its absence would have been chaotic.
Adv. Semenya asked who would have been the person to call the operation off after scene 1. “I would have given the information to CJOC. TRT commanders did not have the authority to call off the operation because they first had to inform me. Neither Col Makhubela nor Col Mere had that authority,” he replied.
Brigadier Calitz further said the usage of the Protea Coin helicopter was not against any police prescripts except for the Air force Act which determines how far it could fly.
When asked about the murder charges that Adv. Mpofu said should be instituted against him, the brigadier said he did not fire any shots at the injured or those who passed on. He said up to this stage, he does not know of any behaviour by SAPS that was illegal.
Brigadier Adriaan Calitz concluded his testimony at the Commission on this day.
The North West Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo commenced testifying at the Commission.
Lt Gen Mbombo said Major General Naidoo was acting as the Provincial Commissioner when she was on leave. Ms Mbombo told the Commission that Gen Naidoo is her deputy for Organisational Development, Inspection and Communication.
“On 11/08/2012, I received a call from someone who works for Lonmin who advised me that some miners have started an illegal strike, resulting in some people being shot and it appears that the protesters might continue with violent actions. I advised that person that I will telephonically get in touch with Major General Naidoo to attend to the situation. I arranged with General Naidoo to contact SAPS head office so as to get more manpower to deal more effectively with the situation.
On Monday 13/08/2012 myself, Major General Mpembe and Major General Naidoo drove to Marikana and together with the local Public Order Police (POP) commander went to meet Lonmin management. At the meeting Lonmin reported on the overall situation including violent incidents of the previous day. After the meeting the SAPS entourage proceeded to the JOC where we received further briefing about the details of the incidents of the previous days and the deployment of various units of the SAPS. At the JOC briefing we were shown footage of a group of men who were armed with knobkerries, spears and pangas walking next to a railway line on their way in the direction of Nkaneng informal settlement,” she continued.
28 January 2014
Advocate Gotz cross examined Brigadier Calitz on this day.
Adv. Gotz asked the witness to confirm that it was not easy for the people in front of the crowd to do a turnaround given the circumstances and the fact that there were a lot of people behind them. “In this case it was a purposeful move towards the direction. The strikers were determined to move forward. In 29 seconds, a leader can make the group to do a turnaround. This has happened before where leaders advise a group to turn back and they agree,” replied the Brigadier.
The witness agreed that the SAPS is in possession of pellet rounds but they were discontinued and are not to be used altogether. He said the pellet rounds are used for training. He further said the pellets can be sold to anyone with a shotgun license and that anyone who has a friend with such a license could obtain them.
Brigadier Calitz said he was not willing to change his view when he said that SAPS members at Marikana could not have used pellet rounds because they are not issued with them. He said since the SAPS does not officially issue pellet rounds for operational purposes, it is therefore overwhelmingly improbable that police officers used the pellet rounds. Mr Calitz however agreed that if SAPS members shot any pellet rounds from inside a nyala, then cartridges would not have been found on the scene. He added that there is a manner of shooting that does not elicit a cartridge.
When asked if the SAPS had anything to offer the strikers during negotiations, the Brigadier said they carried the message to the employer. He said they offered the strikers an opportunity to drop their weapons and return to work instead of arresting them.
Advocate Louis Gumbi on behalf Lieutenant Baloyi and Warrant Officer Lepaaku commenced cross-examining the Brigadier.
The Brigadier denied having heard Major General Mpembe telling the National Commissioner during a briefing on 13/08/2012, that some SAPS members acted without instruction on the day. “I did not hear exactly what Major General Mpembe told the National Commissioner because it was late at night and I was in and out of the JOC, but he mainly told her what had happened earlier in the day,” he said.
The witness testified that there were different groups during the SAPS workshop in Potchefstroom and he heard that the issue of SAPS members who acted without instruction was discussed in General Mpembe’s group.
“I could not update my pocket book timeously because I was very busy in Marikana; I mostly slept very late and woke up very early in the mornings. It is possible for the pocket book to be updated later at night. Maybe I was negligent but I could not update my pocket book every hour,” testified Brigadier Calitz.Mr Calitz said he is not aware of any internal inquiry probing the deaths of police officers in Marikana on 13/08/2012. He further said he does not know why exhibit L does not contain the statement that some SAPS members fired without instruction in Marikana on 13/08/2012.
27 January 2014
On this day Brigadier Calitz continued giving testimony under Advocate Anthony Gotz’s cross-examination.
Adv. Gotz asked about threat number two’s absence from the police’s Occurrence Book (OB). “I did not read the Occurrence Book and if it is true that threat number two is not recorded therein then I will accept. I cannot specifically say I reported this threat to the JOC, but I may have,” replied the witness.
“There are a large number of inconsistencies in the evidence about the threats. They are being exaggerated because it is known that Mr Nokkie cannot come and give evidence to the Commission,” charged Adv. Gotz. The Brigadier disputed this and said that some of the threats were made in his nyala.
The Brigadier denied having told SAPS members to block the strikers. “I told the papa nyala’s to disperse and block. The type of blocking that I was referring to is not an exclusive block that was discussed and planned before time,” said the brigadier.
24 January 2014
Advocate Anthony Gotz, on behalf of Amcu, cross-examined Brigadier Calitz.
The Brigadier told the Commission that no one told him in the nyala if the interpreter was saying something wrong. The witness said that he would have told the strikers had he known that two people who were alleged to have been killed by NUM were not dead but were in hospital.
A photograph of a large writing board that was in the JOC was presented to the Commission. Brigadier Calitz said Captain Sifike was tasked with updating the JOC board. The photo of the JOC board showed the deployment of armed Lonmin security employees and where they were to be deployed. Mr Calitz said that people who were at the JOC will be able to give more information on the matter.
“I am not aware of where Lonmin’s security officers were deployed. But some Lonmin security personnel were at the holding area,” said the Brigadier. Adv. Gotz said there seems to have been a high level of mutual cooperation between Lonmin and SAPS during the Marikana protest. Brigadier Calitz said he would not call it a joint operation, even though both parties shared the JOC.
On the issue of the threats received, the Brigadier said it should be considered a threat if someone says ‘I don’t want you here.’ “If someone says ‘we don’t want you here, go away’ that is also a threat, especially if these words are directed towards a police officer. If a person is armed and says ‘we don’t want you here’ then it should be taken seriously,” continued the witness.
23 January 2014
Brigadier Calitz continued to give evidence on this day under Advocate Mpofu’s cross-examination.
Adv. Mpofu told the witness that it was dangerous for the roll-out of the barbed wire to be done in the presence of hostile strikers and that it should have been done before the strikers had gathered.
The Brigadier agreed that on 16/08/2012 he got a report from crime intelligence that the strikers refused to leave the koppie. “This was bad intelligence because the strikers did leave the koppie. Your actions were premised on what crime intelligence told you. You should have used your discretion to halt the operation before anybody had died,” said the Advocate.
The Advocate raised the issue of strikers who were shot with pellet rounds. Brigadier Calitz replied by saying that all the police units at Marikana had a section commander and he would have expected them to inform him had they witnessed anyone with pellet rounds. The witness said as far as he knows, there was no SAPS member in Marikana who in was in possession of pellet rounds.
The Commission was informed that the National Joint Operations Centre (JOC) is based in Gauteng and it has the authority to deploy assets from one province to another. “There would be nothing wrong in one Provincial Commissioner contacting another to request for assets to be deployed,” continued the brigadier.
Advocate Mpofu said had brigadier Calitz told the strikers of the police’s intention at scene 2, then 18 deaths could have been prevented. The witness replied by saying that the police’s actions were explained in communication with the strikers. “Your omission to warn the strikers shows the killing of people was not a last resort, because as a last resort, they should have been warned,” said Adv. Mpofu. The witness said he did not know of any use of sharp ammunition at that stage.
When told of a recommendation to be made to the Commission for murder charges to be instituted against him, the brigadier replied by saying that he differs. “I don’t think there is any element of murder. I did not have those intentions. This was a tragic event and I acted to the best of my knowledge to conduct this operation successfully,” replied the brigadier.
Brigadier Calitz said he was enjoined to coordinate arrests, among other activities and that he did direct some of the arrests.
Mr Mpofu said that the only evidence of an attack is based on the striker’s crouch walking and that because of the events of the 13th, the police knew or should have known that the manner of walking was not intended as a threat but was a sign of submissiveness. The Brigadier disagreed.
The witness agreed that some of the police members who shot at the strikers were participants of the events of the 13th.
“It is unfair and biased for 259 people to be arrested while no action was taken against SAPS members and their commanders. The police colluded with Lonmin and caused the deaths of 5 people on 13/08/2012 and 6 people on 16/08/2012. The police condoned and turned a blind eye to armed Lonmin security officers at scene 2. The SAPS strategy can be summarised as ‘block, channel and kill them’,” argued Adv. Mpofu.
The Brigadier replied by saying that it was not the purpose of the police to kill and that it has never happened in his life.
21 January 2014
Advocate Dali Mpofu continued cross-examining Brigadier Adriaan Calitz.
The witness was asked if it falls within SAPS minimum standards for its members to drag dead bodies on the ground. The Brigadier replied by saying that it is inhumane for bodies to be dragged for a few meters. “However, if there is a weapon underneath a deceased person, the body has to be moved so that the weapon can be removed. This is handling a crime scene and it is not tampering with it,” he continued.
The Brigadier said he was not aware that strikers who were arrested by police were assaulted during the arrest process.
“The neutral area is different from the safe area in that members of the public were not allowed in the latter. The neutral area changed its position after stage 3 was implemented. People were allowed to move around in the neutral area,” testified Mr Calitz.
The Brigadier denied that people were killed at an area where they were allowed to move.
Adv. Mpofu said the SAPS owed the strikers a duty to inform them that they could no longer use the road they had been using to get to Nkaneng. The Brigadier said this could have been done.
“After the warning to the strikers at the koppie, it was expected that some of the protesters would leave and some members of the militant group would remain,” said brig Calitz. The witness agreed with Adv. Mpofu that none of the SAPS projections expected all the strikers to leave the koppie.
Mr. Mpofu argued that when the Brigadier was briefing SAPS members after the Marikana tragedy, his statement was meant to poison the minds of the police officers by suggesting what the official line is. “When you were briefing the SAPS members, you were effectively saying that self-defence is the commitment to be given to the Commission,” he said.
Brigadier Calitz disagreed and said that the support that he said SAPS members were to give to the Commission was not related to self-defence. “I was saying they had to be truthful about the shots they fired and that there was nothing to hide.” Advocate Mpofu said the brigadier was schooling the police officers in an irregular manner, suggesting the story of self-defence. Again, the brigadier denied this.
“Your message to the SAPS members was not that they should tell the truth because the truth had to be told, but you were saying that they should tell the truth because the Local Criminal Records Centre (LCRC) had collected bullet cartridges and that should they lie, evidence will be against them,” charged the advocate. Brigadier Calitz strongly disagreed.
Advocate Mpofu accused the Brigadier of having given the instruction for people to be killed on 16/08/2012 at scene 1 in Marikana. Colonel Vermaak’s statement was read where he says ‘brigadier Calitz gave an order for action to be taken. It looked like the SAPS members did not hear the instruction and because some police officers were killed on 13/08/2012, he realised that the SAPS members had to act to protect their lives; since he thought that the members did not hear the instruction, he repeated it.’.
“I don’t agree with you,” said the brigadier. “The instruction was given to papa Nyalas to block. Under no circumstances was it necessary for me to talk to the Tactical Response Team (TRT) because they had their own commanders and TRT was out of my line of sight.”
The witness continued to say that when he gave the instruction, he may have used the word ‘engage’.
Adv. Mpofu said the context in which the word ‘engage’ is used by Col Scott does not accord with the brigadier’s explanation that it is a neutral and generic term which excludes non-lethal force. “I don’t agree with your allegations,” replied the brigadier.
“Your evidence is fabrication and should not be believed and it is ridiculous,” said Mr Mpofu.
The advocate continued to say that when the Brigadier gave the instruction and made usage of the word ‘engage’ this included the instruction for people to be killed.
“I will recommend that you, among other people, be charged with the murders at scene 1,” said Adv. Mpofu. The witness said that he differs and that the facts are on hand they explain themselves.
17 January 2014
The witness, Brigadier Calitz, was cross-examined by Advocate Mpofu on this day.
Adv. Mpofu said Mr Nokkie may have never said that he and his group were going to kill the police. “It is undesirable for someone who is deceased to be misquoted. This could mean the police are prepared to lie about the strikers being belligerent. This could mean that the police leadership will do anything and stop at nothing to tell lies and exaggerations in order to protect the unprotectable.”
The Brigadier disagreed and said that the police have nothing to hide and that he asked the SAPS members to make statements and he also made sure that they cooperate with the Commission.
“In your justification of the placing of a boot by a police member on one of the strikers or when they kicked a person who was down near the kraal, you gave a flimsy justification which does not hold any water,” said the Advocate. The Brigadier explained that the placing of a boot on a person by a police officer is used to keep the person stable. He said this is because the police officer will be unable to use their hands when holding a weapon and other officers will then come to assist. In that instance the person is not being kicked, but is being subdued to effect an arrest.
“The SAPS is willing to go to absurd lengths to justify something that is not justifiable,” said Adv. Mpofu.
Mr Mpofu said stage 3 was ill-fated and stillborn because the chief of planning (Colonel Scott) and the chief of execution (Brig Calitz) disagreed on the important aspect of the rolling out of the barbed wire. “Disaster was looming because Col Scott thought simultaneous roll-out of the barbed wire was going to last for a certain period and you wanted the barbed wire to be uncoiled sequentially and that would have taken six times what Col Scott had envisaged,” said the advocate.
When asked if it was correct that he differed with Col Scott that simultaneous roll-out would be dangerous, Brig Calitz said operationally, the simultaneous roll-out of the barbed wire was not possible. “I would not know the length of each wire because it goes from 80 to 100 meters depending of the terrain. Gaps could have been left and this was dangerous for the media and others because it could have led to a confrontation. Simultaneous roll-out of the barbed wire would have been unprecedented because in my experience, I have never seen it done that way,” testified the Brigadier.
Mr. Calitz further said that if the barbed wire was to be uncoiled serially, it was going to take between 12 and 18 minutes and that this would have depended on the terrain and other factors.
Brigadier Calitz said he still holds the view that the strikers were prepared to fight the police and were willing to die. “The strikers were told several times through the Public Address system what the purpose of the barbed wire was,” he said.
“Despite all the dangers, you expected the strikers to just sit and watch as the wire was being uncoiled even though you had earlier categorised them as belligerent?” asked Adv. Mpofu. The Brigadier agreed.
“I am going to argue that any reasonable person in your position should have known that those people were not going to just sit there while the wire was being uncoiled and your failure to appreciate that fact led to the disastrous consequences,” said Mr Mpofu. The witness disagreed.
“I differ because in all crowd management operations, people don’t usually charge towards the police. I have never seen a police defensive line being under attack by protesters; they usually move away to a safe area,” replied the brigadier.
Advocate Mpofu told the witness that a reasonable person in the brigadiers’ position should have foreseen that an attack would come. Brigadier Calitz said that on the day (16/08/2012) there was a show of force by the police, there were Special Task Force vehicles, there were SAPS members in uniforms and there were also helicopters hovering in the air and because of all those factors, there was no reasonable person who could have the audacity to attack the police.
16 January 2014
Advocate Dali Mpofu continued cross-examining Brigadier Calitz on this day.
The Brigadier confirmed that some SAPS members, who it was feared may have been affected by the killing of their colleagues on 13/08/2012, were removed and sent elsewhere. He also said Colonel Merafe was removed since he was the commander of the unit of those killed.
Adv. Mpofu said there was some connection between the mood of the SAPS members on 13/08/2012 and the events of 16/08/2012 in Marikana.
“In handling the group on 13/08/2012, SAPS’ involvement led to disastrous consequences whereas Lonmin security officers were able to turn back the strikers without any bloodshed,” he said. Brigadier Calitz replied by saying that he was not there when SAPS interacted with the strikers on 13/08/2012.
Again the Brigadier clarified that when he said to the SAPS members that ‘from planning to execution was 110%’ he was referring to the line they held and the way they moved.
The witness accepted that some SAPS members who shot at strikers on 16/08/2012 said they were protecting their own lives.
Brigadier Calitz conceded that live ammunition was only to be used by SAPS members when their lives or those of their colleagues were at risk. He said this is not what he heard but it is what he believes. Adv. Mpofu said on this aspect, the risk was not to be voluntarily assumed. The witness agreed with the advocate that the cocking of the guns occurred before the strikers emerged from the corner of the kraal.
The Brigadier denied knowing that when nyala 4 blocked off the road to Nkaneng for the strikers, the TRT basic line had not yet been formed. “Were it not for nyala 4 closing the gap, the strikers would have accessed the road to Nkaneng because there wasn’t a TRT line then,” said the advocate.
The witness confirmed that one of the reasons for erecting the barbed wire was to prevent strikers from going to Nkaneng.
When asked if he knows if any TRT members saw any firearms carried by the strikers, the Brigadier said the police officers in the nyala said they saw the guns on the strikers. Mr. Calitz told the Commission that he was told by Colonel McIntosh and the interpreter about the threats made by Mr Nokkie. Brigadier Calitz however could not confirm if there was a police officer in his nyala who could understand what was said by Mr Nokkie in Fanakalo.
15 January 2014
Advocate Bizos continued to cross-examine Brigadier Adriaan Calitz.
Brigadier Calitz told the Commission that the Colonel Scott’s plan consisted mainly of negotiations and a show of force by the police and that phase 1 and 2 was agreed to at the JOC and he also agreed to it. The Brigadier further added that he did not foresee that there would be maximum force used and there was no mention of this in the meetings he attended.
Adv. Bizos said there should not have been so many police units in the Marikana operation. Brigadier Calitz said he disagrees.
“I gave commanders an operational debriefing on the evening of 16/08/2012. There is a formal briefing that is also known as a SWOT analysis. The Commission was left to run its course and then lessons learnt will be discussed afterwards,” said Brigadier Calitz.
Adv. Bizos told the witness that he seems to be in substantial disagreement with Mr Hendrickx, to which the witness agreed. “Mr De Rover has made a statement on behalf of SAPS and he is also in substantial agreement with Mr Hendrickx,” said Adv. Bizos.
The Brigadier said he feels qualified to disagree because of the 21 years’ experience he has, the extensive training he has received, and the rank he has achieved all came as a result of hard work. “The Marikana tragedy was a first for South Africa. Mr Hendrickx experience in South Africa is less than mine,” he said.
Advocate Bizo’s cross-examination concluded at this stage and Adv. Dali Mpofu commenced cross-examining the witness.
“There is a view out there that the police are a killing machine and this Commission will have to confirm this view or dismiss it. Lately there has been a lot negative media reports on the conduct of SAPS members,” said Adv. Mpofu. Brigadier Calitz agreed and said he has been wrongly quoted by the Sowetan newspaper on a number of occasions.
The witness agreed with Adv. Mpofu that it is important for the Commission to know exactly when the operational commander was informed of a decision to proceed to phase 3 (tactical stage). The Brigadier said it was only at 14:30 that Colonel Scott informed him that they were to move to phase 3. “Your evidence is irreconcilable and untruthful on this aspect,” said Adv. Mpofu.
Brigadier Calitz explained the role of the operational commander by saying that he is responsible for making sure that SAPS members are briefed and that they ask questions and understand their roles. He further said that the person in charge on the ground is the operational commander, apart from the CJOC. He said as operational commander, on 16/08/2012 he was the senior on the ground but the overall commander was in charge of the entire operation.
As the operational commander, Brigadier Calitz said he had the authority to offer commands. He however said that Major General Mpembe and General Annandale did not give him any instructions. He said he received instructions from Colonel Scott, who was at the JOC, on how to proceed forward and that these were an amplification of the plan.
“Your discretion was so wide that you could call the operation off if necessary,” asked the Advocate. Mr. Calitz said he would not have taken the decision on his own and that he would have informed JOC to facilitate this.
Advocate Mpofu said the root of the conflict in Marikana was between Lonmin and the striking workers. The Brigadier agreed with Mr Mpofu that the police needed to remain impartial, absence of which would have disastrous consequences. “The police were under a constitutional imperative of impartiality and were not to be seen to be taking sides. The SAPS however, failed the test of impartiality dismally.”
Brigadier Calitz explained that the JOC was set up at the Lonmin premises because it was nearest to where the strike was underway and that it would not make sense for the JOC to be set up in Rustenburg or Sun City.
The Brigadier however disagreed that Lonmin was an integral part of the JOC. He said the police’s planning was done in Lonmin’s absence and that the SAPS’ cooperation with Lonmin did not go as far as to include the mining company in tactical decisions.
14 January 2014
Adv. George Bizos cross-examined Brigadier Adriaan Calitz on his role as the operational commander during the Marikana protest.
Brigadier Calitz said he does not agree that the police wanted revenge for their slain colleagues. Adv. Bizos said on Tuesday 14 August 2012, the North West Provincial Commissioner wanted to delay police action because she felt that emotions were too high among the police members who lost their colleagues. The witness said he was not aware of this.
When asked how he would have reacted had he known of this, the Brigadier said he has handled many cases in the past and in Marikana he did not have the luxury of replacing police officers. “It was not for the police to take revenge. Everyone knows how to respond and revenge was not an option,” said the witness.
“Had I known that photos of the deceased members of the SAPS were disseminated among police officers involved in the Marikana operation, I would have arranged trauma counselling for members who saw the photos,” continued the Brigadier.
Brigadier Calitz testified that he is not aware of any action that has been taken against any police officer who was involved in making threats against Major General Mpembe.
“I only learnt on 16/08/2012 at 14:30, that decisive action was to be taken against the strikers at the koppie.” Mr Calitz told the Commission that he does not have any legal training and that the only law training he has, is as far as the police law is concerned.
Advocate Bizos told the Brigadier that as operational commander, his duty was to save people’s lives. The advocate asked if it was a coincidence that as operational commander he did not hear anything at scene 2. “It was not deliberate,” replied the Brigadier.
The Brigadier was asked if he would have still said that SAPS members acted 100% had he known that some of the strikers were shot in the back and side; to which he replied by saying 100% was in reference to the cooperation that was to be given to the Commission and had nothing to do with people shot. “If I knew I would have said there are people injured in this manner and we were going to cooperate accordingly. I would have also motivated the police officers to come out with the truth, because I also told them that IPID was going to take their weapons,” he continued.
The witness told the Commission that he did not just accept the reports he received about the shootings of the 16/08/2012 uncritically. He said he evaluated the reports he received by having discussions with the police officers concerned to ask who fired shots and from which position.
The Brigadier further testified that the role played by SAPS and its various units was examined during the Potchefstroom workshop. He said different groups were constituted and a report (exhibit L) was produced.
13 January 2014
Advocate Michelle Le Roux, on behalf of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) started the day with cross-examining Brigadier Calitz.
Adv. Le Roux said that some SAPS members did not mention, in their statements, the deaths of some strikers or the TRT fire. When asked about the incomplete or inaccurate statements, the witness said he does not know if there are any supplementary statements to the ones that have been already submitted.
Brigadier Calitz said at scene 1 he did not hear what Colonel McIntosh says he heard, i.e. sounds of rubber bullets and stun grenades, even though they were both in the same vehicle. When asked how this could be, the witness said right above where Col McIntosh was seated, there was an opening in the nyala and he (Brig Calitz) was seated at the back. “One of the SAPS members was firing stun grenades and rubber bullets and that is probably why I could not hear the TRT volley of shots,” said the witness.
“Major General Naidoo heard a report on the radio of bodies down and medical assistance being sought. Did you hear this report?” asked Adv. Le Roux. The witness said he did not hear this.
Brigadier Calitz maintains that he did not hear the 295 rounds of ammunition fired at scene 2. He further confirmed that he was 150 meters away from scene 2 and that at some point the nyala door was opened by Col. McIntosh.
Adv. Le Roux showed the Commission some video clips of various journalists at scene 1 saying they can hear gunshots at scene 2. “Gunshots could have been rubber rounds used in the dispersal action at scene 2. Shots heard on the video clips could be rubber rounds, an expert could be used to help ascertain this. I don’t remember hearing those bullets; not that I did not hear them altogether,” replied the Brigadier.
The witness also said he does not recall hearing over the radio an instruction for medical personnel to move into the area. “As operational commander it is either incredible or inexplicable that you did not know that scene 1 and scene 2 had occurred until later that day. The South African Human Rights Commission will submit that by saying you did not know what happened, you are seeking to avoid responsibility for what happened or if you really did not know then you were negligent because as operational commander you should have known,” said Adv. Le Roux.
Brigadier Calitz said that if he knew about scene 1 at around 16:00, he would have given an instruction for SAPS members to go there. He also said he would have taken the necessary steps to address the matter had he known earlier. I have served in POP for many years and I never neglect my responsibilities.
The Brigadier said he does not have any knowledge of the amount of rubber bullets used between scene 1 and scene 2.